Constantine: Non Est Asylum
October 25, 2014 9:33 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

"Based on the wildly popular comic book series 'Hellblazer' from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, 'Criminal Minds') is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight - or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he's decided to abandon his campaign against evil until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. With the balance of good and evil on the line‎, Constantine will use his skills to travel the country, find the supernatural terrors that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows... maybe there's hope for him and his soul after all." Series premiere.
posted by homunculus (55 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Grantland: "at first blush, it’s not hard to think of it as little more than Heckblazer. There’s a voluntarily enforced smoking ban on the broadcast networks, so our John has to make do with limply flicking his lighter."

How silly. I actually found it a little distracting that he never lit a cigarette.
posted by homunculus at 9:54 AM on October 25, 2014


I was surprised by how much I liked it, but my expectations were pretty low. Less obvious magic would have been better, but the actor largely pulled off becoming Constantine.

The quick pace was good for the first episode, but hopefully the show will realize it can slow down.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:13 AM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Matt Ryan was perfect. It sounds like the show around him was overhauled between the pilot and the regular series episodes, and the last scene implies big things to folks who've read the comics (maybe more of a "huh?" to folks who haven't), so I guess we'll see next time.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:43 AM on October 25, 2014


I will say the Social Distortion in Chas's cab struck a sour note. No Pogues? No Clash? C'mon.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:44 AM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did the Clash or the Pogues do a cover of Ring of Fire?
posted by homunculus at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2014


Ten minutes in and it felt like half an hour had passed. I found myself wondering what the fuck was going on at one point. I really hope the show slows down. Constantine was spot on, though.

Also, I stopped reading not long after Ennis' run. Is the Chas thing something that comes along later? Hoping for a, 'Quick, Chas, to the piss-up mobile!' moment.
posted by charred husk at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2014


Yeah, I read the Delano and Ennis runs and don't remember Chas being anything but an ordinary bloke. (I also don't remember him being American, but whatever.)

As a TV show, it's a mess. As an adaptation it's an utter failure.

The Hellblazer Constantine was a deeply angry character. Ryan's Constantine seems goofy and good hearted in contrast to the the shit talking, pissed at the world and all the wankers, punk as fuck comic book version. It's more than just the pack of Silk Cuts missing, it's his entire attitude. This Constantine will never start his day hungover and homeless next to a murdered friend and finish the day pissing on the king of vampires. He'll probably just ride around in Chas' magic cab and fight this week's monster.

I'll hang on for a couple of weeks to see if the post-pilot revamp fixes the fact that this isn't John Constantine, but I'm not hanging on to any hope. I really wish this had been a basic cable or BBC show where they could get away with the Full Constantine. Hell, even a CW version that felt more like Supernatural, a show that owes it existence to Hellblazer and The Books of Magic, would've been better. On NBC the show is already too compromised, too limited by NBCs Standards and Practices to be worthwhile.

Bleh. And I can't even hate watch the show, like with The Strain or the upcoming final season of The Newsroom, because it's John Constantine.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:36 PM on October 25, 2014 [10 favorites]


I found this surprisingly enjoyable, possibly because I've never read the books. I don't know if they're going to be able to make a whole tv series out of it but I'll definitely tune in for a while.
posted by fshgrl at 3:23 PM on October 25, 2014


I worry about Hellblazer falling into the Shadowrun trap, where the industry won't go for a real adaptation because the shitty adaptation didn't sell. It took crowdfunding to make a real Shadowrun game after the flaming mess that was the Counterstrike clone with Shadowrun theming; what will it take to get a Hellblazer adaptation after this?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2014


Basically I am doing crazy Kermit flailing hands because they filmed in my old hometown! Krog Tunnel! Oakland Cemetery! Buckhead! Edgewood and Boulevard!
posted by Kitteh at 3:35 PM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


And we end at my friend's bar/restaurant, The Wrecking Bar.
posted by Kitteh at 3:44 PM on October 25, 2014




The Hellblazer Constantine was a deeply angry character. Ryan's Constantine seems goofy and good hearted in contrast to the the shit talking, pissed at the world and all the wankers, punk as fuck comic book version. It's more than just the pack of Silk Cuts missing, it's his entire attitude.

They cleaned him too much for my tastes, but I don't think there was any chance of that not happening in the pilot episode. Maybe they'll give us something closer to the original character as the series progresses, but right now they're trying too hard make him amicable for my tastes.

I really wish this had been a basic cable or BBC show where they could get away with the Full Constantine. Hell, even a CW version that felt more like Supernatural, a show that owes it existence to Hellblazer and The Books of Magic, would've been better. On NBC the show is already too compromised, too limited by NBCs Standards and Practices to be worthwhile.

I have some slim hope since NBC is the channel which gave us Hannibal, a magnificently twisted character and show. On NBC smoking is forbidden but cannibalism is acceptable, I guess. But yeah, this would be a better fit on BBC, alongside with Intruders and Orphan Black.
posted by homunculus at 4:53 PM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


To be honest, it wasn't bad. Is it the gritty grimdark Constantine we all want? No. Is it going to be? Not even. For better or for worse (and I know which one I'd go with), DC Comics owns the rights to the character so whomever can pony up the cash to make a Constantine television show gets to do so. Sure, this would be a better fit on a cable network or BBC, but considering they didn't pony up that money, this is what we have. It will live or die on its own merits now. If it dies, then maybe some passionate super rich British actor/producer/director will free John Constantine from the wreckage and do it up like everyone who loves the character wants them to.

But for right now? This is the reality.
posted by Kitteh at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2014




I can't say I hated the pilot. I am a fan of the character from way, way back in the old Swamp Thing comics. Back when Alan Moore knew the score. I never followed the Hellblazer comics, and yeah I've never seen, can't really imagine enjoying, the Constantine movie. So to me the character is trapped in an amber of cool back in the late 80s and also, fuck I'm old.

I didn't like how shoddily done the constant demon attacks were. I hated that the angel's wings were so terribly added in post. (At least - gak! I can't believe I'm saying this - Syfy's angel trainwreck show Dominion had enough sense to have the actors move their shoulders for their CGI wings.) I hated that the demon at the end was able to take on constantine's form, but then I guess the rule in this show is that they will be able to look like anyone, and that's a huge narrative window to open. I hated that the lead gal didn't seem to mourn her friend for very long, because maybe Buffy spoiled me, but by the time she got to the creepy basement (so glad they kept the bondange gear and 55 gallon drum of lube off camera) she really should have been freaking out rather badly.

And that whole Ravenscar intro was hokey and rushed. I don't think they let you just walk out of a facility right after all the windows mysteriously smash and you know, you've checked yourself in to experience the sublime thrill of electroshock therapy. Why couldn't he have pulled a big Chief and broken out properly. Then he'd be escaped lunatic John Constantine and there's one more plot point for the writers to work with. (It's probably in the comics that he walks out, and heck when he was introduced way back when he could practically teleport.)

I also felt that the dialog was a bit stilted, perhaps because none of the other actors quite got the rhythm of how to respond to the lead's accent, and everyone was sticking to their lines exactly as written.

But these are minor quibbles. I'll have to catch up on the comics this winter and see how much I enjoy the entire property. I have a feeling that it blazed a trail through material that has been mined heavily by hundreds of demon possession films, so it might not translate very well to network television. But hopefully the comics matched the clever, inventive glory that was the character's introduction.
posted by Catblack at 7:58 PM on October 25, 2014


This was ok, but it feels awfully lightweight and fluffy. Heckblazer indeed.

There's a lot of talk about how this is important and dangerous and whatnot, but none of it seems to matter, and when Chaz, a character who seems to have some importance beyond being cannon fodder three minutes after being introduced, is killed, he's brought back to life and no worse for wear, so hey, not even being killed by demons is a big threat, really.

John Constantine was haunted and angry and fucked up in the comics, and even the movie, with all its changes, made it feel like important, world-changing stuff was about to go down.

This just feels like Supernatural lite. Actually, Supernatural got pretty good at making things seem important too, at least after a while.

I'll probably watch another episode or two, but there's not much there there.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:08 AM on October 26, 2014


I was able to forgive a lot of the pilot because I knew about the revamp. How they were prescient enough to get Liv to say "I have no future!" early on surprised me.

I'm giving it the six I gave Agents of Shield and Gotham. Maybe more, since I actually like Hellblazer. I'll give it ALL MY TIME if they can do Teh Ultimate Crossover where Nergal and Moloch hang out at the hell water cooler and gossip about Crowley.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:33 AM on October 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Actually, one of the quibbles Shepherd and I had about it was that after years of watching Supernatural, we had forgotten how much they had cribbed from the comic (lines of salt, protective runes, Latin recitation), we were like, "Oh, this is nothing new."
posted by Kitteh at 5:07 AM on October 26, 2014


I don't think they let you just walk out of a facility right after all the windows mysteriously smash and you know, you've checked yourself in to experience the sublime thrill of electroshock therapy.

The idea that if you've checked your own self in to a mental health facility, then you can check yourself out pretty much whenever you want is one I've seen used a lot in a variety of fictional media. No idea if that's how it actually works in real life, but, y'know, I can't really give the writers side-eye for pulling some kind of nonsense out of their butts - if it's nonsense, it's nonsense they borrowed from a bunch of other people.

But hopefully the comics matched the clever, inventive glory that was the character's introduction.

Mmmmmmmmm . . . . . . I can't say I really followed the comics, but I've gotten a bunch of the collected trade paperbacks from the library and Hellblazer is kind of its own thing. A lot of it was written by Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis, who (IMO) both have really different sensibilities than Moore. Sort of more punk rock Gen X modern. Lots of the stories and issues are pretty dark in tone.

If you go into it expecting "more Moore", so to speak, I think you might be disappointed, but if you approach it on its own terms you might dig it.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:11 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


%n: "Actually, one of the quibbles Shepherd and I had about it was that after years of watching Supernatural, we had forgotten how much they had cribbed from the comic (lines of salt, protective runes, Latin recitation), we were like, "Oh, this is nothing new.""

Yeah, that's... not really original to Hellblazer either.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:18 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


This just feels like Supernatural lite. Actually, Supernatural got pretty good at making things seem important too, at least after a while.

Supernatural's writers twigged fairly quickly to the fact that what Supernatural really runs on is the Winchesters' relationships.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:11 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm ok with him walking out. To keep him, his doctor would have to sign the equivalent of a commitment order, saying he was a danger to himself or others. From what little we saw, John's doctor was concerned for his health, but not overly alarmed enough to lock him up by force.

Absent that order, you should always have the right to refuse medical treatment and check yourself out "against medical advice".
posted by Mogur at 6:23 AM on October 26, 2014


No, it's not unique to Hellblazer, true, but it certainly made it higher profile to me until Supernatural.
posted by Kitteh at 6:31 AM on October 26, 2014


Mmmmmmmmm . . . . . . I can't say I really followed the comics, but I've gotten a bunch of the collected trade paperbacks from the library and Hellblazer is kind of its own thing. A lot of it was written by Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis, who (IMO) both have really different sensibilities than Moore. Sort of more punk rock Gen X modern. Lots of the stories and issues are pretty dark in tone.

Warren Ellis only wrote about a year of issues. Ennis's run established a tone that the Vertigo book mostly stuck to (said book, Hellblazer, was canceled last year and rebooted as a series entitled Constantine that reintegrated the character into the DC Universe), but most of the stuff of Hellblazer began in Jamie Delano's run (#1 through more or less #40).

The major difference between Swamp Thing Constantine and the Hellblazer Constantine is distance. Moore/Bissette/Totleben, et al, originally presented a character you thought might have great cosmic insights and/or powers, but you never really knew for sure. This Constantine deliberately cultivated an air of mystery. Readers may have expected a series about Constantine to keep this going; perhaps Constantine would appear, Phantom Stranger-like, to people in dire circumstances, giving the series something of an anthology feel. If so, they were probably surprised when Delano immediately took the reader "backstage," as it were, and showed how little of what Constantine pulled off was really supernatural, and how much relied on con artistry, manipulation, calling in favors, and generally (as Walter White might have it) behaving like a pufferfish in front of people and entities who could easily destroy him (or worse) if they only could see through all his bullshit and realize how powerless Constantine really was. (Until, of course, he inevitably turned the tables; if you wrote him off as a poseur, you were just falling into a different con.)

The pilot begins in Constantine's POV, but it isn't long before we're in a scenario that feels more like the first episode of the new Doctor Who than anything else. Liv is pretty much a Rose Tyler, and it seems she was meant to be our point of identification in this world. I can't say I'm disappointed the series will go in a different direction. My hope is Constantine will be our protagonist, not our spirit guide. That could be a very good show.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:29 AM on October 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I first encountered Constantine in his appearance Sandman comics - I must have read one of the graphic novels or a one-shot special later on, though the details escape me now (something to do with AIDS? Or a ghost or homelessness?).

So I'm in the camp of those who found this jarringly light & breezy in comparison to the source material. I was especially annoyed at his nearly falling for the demon's trick at the end with the fake little girl. What kind of 'master of the dark arts' would take a demon at their word?

Also not sure what the writers are going for with Constantine's damnation. It doesn't seem like he actually sold his soul in this show, rather that because he somehow failed to stop the demons from taking Astrid(?) to hell, he's doomed? In the comics though, there's an actual contract in which he signed away his soul, which he is crafty enough to get out of eventually, no? I would have preferred that to the vague angst of the tv version.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:48 AM on October 26, 2014


Based on Gabriel's rebuke when Constantine asks for help in Dangerous Habits, John didn't sell his soul but rather is damned for his chronic willingness to sacrifice his friends and loved ones and generally being unconcerned with what Heaven defines as morality.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:22 AM on October 26, 2014


I was expecting terrible. It was not terrible. It was, yes, lightweight and fluffy, but it was enough to keep me around for a few weeks to see what the show turns into. I would not be surprised if the quality turns out to vary with the quantity of Harold Perrineau per episode.
posted by Stacey at 8:23 AM on October 26, 2014


The rooftop scene immediately made me think of this old Tim Bradstreet image (I got it from Shadowrun 2E book, not sure if it was commissioned for that or original to something else)
posted by curious nu at 8:43 AM on October 26, 2014


I hated that the demon at the end was able to take on Constantine's form, but then I guess the rule in this show is that they will be able to look like anyone, and that's a huge narrative window to open.

The part that bugged me was how Constantine almost fell for the demon's obvious trick with Astra. You can't tell a story about a guy who relies on his wits if you have to make him stupid in order to advance the storyline.

All in all I did enjoy it despite its flaws, largely because I had low expectations and pilot episodes are always handicapped. Plus I was amazed that I was watching anything about John Constantine on network TV, and after Hannibal I have some hope that NBC could make something decent as the series settles in. We'll see.
posted by homunculus at 10:34 AM on October 26, 2014


Am I the only person who wanted to shout "waaaaaaallllltttt" every time Harold Perrineau came on screen? I was pleased to see both him and Jeremy Davies.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:27 AM on October 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm totally ignorant of the comic, so the pilot didn't come off as especially fluffy or soft to me. Slightly cheesy, maybe, but I thought that was because they were going for iconic/stylized and sometimes slid too far into cheesy/cartoonish by accident. The asylum was the probably the biggest misstep in that sense, imo. If you're going to have an asylum, at least make it claustrophobic, for goodness sakes, the locks and sense of personal isolation are the whole point of why a place like that would even be scary. If everything is just cavernous rooms and people can just take their leave, it's not going to work as a horror setting, even if you've got the industrial green paint down. It felt more like an abandoned high school than an asylum, imo. But anyway, I appreciate that they were at least trying for atmosphere and an interesting look, especially since it's a pilot, and personally, I think they mostly succeeded. I liked how they veered between very cold, empty-feeling, dark/blue/green settings, like the rooftop, to very warm, closed-up, cluttered and bright spaces, like the bar or Liv's apartment. And just the look of the show in general.

I agree with everyone that it's too bad that Constantine doesn't smoke, but that's mostly because I always like seeing characters who smoke, there are so few, and personally, I'm always predisposed toward them...I mean, I watched Burn Notice like 95% for Michael's mom, the not-villainous chain-smoker. But I guess nowadays, if you wanted to have a lead who was a for real smoker, the show itself would be really constrained in terms of settings. Since Constantine doesn't seem to hang out much in his own house or car, I guess a ton of scenes would have to take place in parking lots or 10-feet-away from bar doors or whatever. Since he carries a lighter, maybe we're supposed to assume that he is a smoker but all the public places are smoke-free now, so he's sneaking in his cigarettes en route and otherwise between scenes. Maybe he was at his softest and least edgy on the rooftop because he could finally have a smoke break whenever he needed it up there.

The only thing I actually scoffed at, looks/props-wise, was that taxi. It looked like a toy. If they're going to have a car be an important prop, it's got to have more character than that. But I maybe have high-ish standards for cars on TV, I don't know about anything mechanical, but I really enjoy them as eye-candy.

Oh, while speaking of complaints: I do agree about the very stupid ruse with demon!Astra at the end -- it doesn't actually take a cynic to suspect that a demon waving a girl you want to save at you is probably trying to pull a trick. I don't know enough about Constantine's state of mind to really make a judgement about that yet, though. I thought that the arc of the episode was him feeling more powerful and optimistic (I mean, he starts out requesting ECT and then he ends up being a mentor and saving Liv and all, so I figured...), so maybe that scene was him going too far and becoming arrogant and then needing to get put back in his place? LOL I'm watching this and commenting on it in a Percocet haze right now, though, so if I'm completely wrong, I'm sorry.

Anyway, the cast seems pretty strong, imo, especially the lead, Jeremy Davies, and Harold Perrineau. I'll definitely try the next episode, if only because I think they're all fun to watch. Also, even if they aren't the grimmest of the grim!dark group, they also aren't a bunch of pretty boys, which is a nice change. Much as I love CW/WB supernatural shows, and all the pretty boys therein, I'm probably full up on my quota of those seeing as there's one on virtually every night. I actually liked Liv -- her visions were interesting, and I liked the actress's vibe. And the character's apartment was cozily dumpy, which I liked, too. Though I can see how Liv doesn't really fit into the show -- she didn't really have a story of her own, she was just an appendage to Constantine. That seems like it wouldn't have a lot of potential. The only thing that I personally would change up with the cast is that it's a sausage fest, which imo is dull/weird. But maybe that'll change, obviously they're willing to revamp stuff that doesn't work.
posted by rue72 at 12:24 PM on October 26, 2014


The only thing I actually scoffed at, looks/props-wise, was that taxi. It looked like a toy. If they're going to have a car be an important prop, it's got to have more character than that.

Uh. Whoa. You're making me get all muppet-arm-flaily, here.

That taxi was the classic, nay, iconic Checker Cab.

Like, seriously, there are generations of Americans who would picture that car in their brains if you said, "taxi." If you don't like it, that's cool, but it's essentially the Platonic Ideal Of A Taxi, which is undoubtedly why the producers have Chas driving one around.

It's the Ur-Taxi; it's got so much character that it's become its own stereotype.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:31 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


To be honest, it wasn't bad. Is it the gritty grimdark Constantine we all want? No. Is it going to be? ... But for right now? This is the reality.

#notmyconstantine


(yet, at least. still gonna give it a couple of weeks :|)
posted by eyeballkid at 2:04 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I kinda love that Jeremy Davies has decided his new life path in acting is Crazy Skinny Unhinged Weirdo.

And as a Hellblazer fan, I get that no one is truly happy about this adaptation, but I am more uneasy with the "we are owed this!" mentality. I'm not saying we shouldn't whinge but c'mon, what's the point of hate-watching? I really don't get that.
posted by Kitteh at 2:16 PM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Like, seriously, there are generations of Americans who would picture that car in their brains if you said, "taxi." If you don't like it, that's cool, but it's essentially the Platonic Ideal Of A Taxi, which is undoubtedly why the producers have Chas driving one around.

That it was "the Platonic Ideal of a Taxi" instead of an individual taxi for an individual driver is exactly why I thought it looked like a ridiculous toy. That's one of the things in the pilot where I think they were going for "stylized" or "iconic" but ended up with "cheesy cartoon."
posted by rue72 at 2:54 PM on October 26, 2014


but I am more uneasy with the "we are owed this!"

Was that in a thread I missed somewhere else? Did someone say that DC owed them something? I see a lot of people lamenting that this is a weak sauce version of one of, IMO, DC's best properties.

As for hate-watching, sometimes you have to see how terrible a show like The Following or The Strain can actually get.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:04 PM on October 26, 2014


No, but it comes across with the myriad list of disappointments people are having with the show. Again, this is Hellblazer-lite, make no mistake, but it's on NBC! NBC squandered all its edginess on Hannibal. The producers are going to skim the surface of rich material here; they're making a show to appeal to mainstream non-comics reading audiences. The Easter eggs and crumbs we get are always gonna be just that: minor bones thrown to the faithful.
posted by Kitteh at 3:59 PM on October 26, 2014


Gah! Yeah! You're right. I'll just shut up and like it then!
posted by eyeballkid at 4:39 PM on October 26, 2014


No, that's the thing: you don't have to like it. And you don't! That's understandable! But with the limited time we have on Earth, I genuinely don't understand wasting precious hours on a show--and for me currently the show is Gotham--that will not make you happy.
posted by Kitteh at 5:17 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


He sounds like a Welshman trying to sound Liverpudlian. So far, that sums up the show for me metaphorically, albeit a simile.
posted by provoliminal at 5:40 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I genuinely don't understand wasting precious hours on a show--and for me currently the show is Gotham--that will not make you happy.

Not an MST3k fan, I take it.

And I was more referring to the idea that I feel I'm owed something, as if my criticism of the show wasn't valid. DC doesn't owe me anything. I'd just rather be in a universe where there was a television series that better reflected the source material.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:46 PM on October 26, 2014


Actually, I'd like to amend that. I would have loved it if the show had taken a better approach to the source material. I've never read Harris' Hannibal books, but I can't imagine that the tv show is anything other than an original, and very well devised, vision of the material. It's more than the declawing of everyone's favorite asshole mage that bothers me. It's that the Constantine pilot feels easy and cliched, like it's not even trying and if it had hewed closer to the source it would have been interesting TV. Right now it's just dull.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:53 PM on October 26, 2014


I'd just rather be in a universe where there was a television series that better reflected the source material.

And I agree with you. But having an prime time NBC time slot was never ever going to let that happen. I suspect the green light for the series came from the currently wildly profitable superhero/comics trend happening of recent and the desire to find an "edgy" property then proceed to make it palatable and toothless.
posted by Kitteh at 5:57 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, most of the stuff I found weak was stuff that existed for someone who hasn't followed the comic/is familiar with the Wizard Detective genre/actually summons demons from the Chained Pit. I hope that stuff will fade over time as they start to assume the viewer knows the rules of the universe.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:01 PM on October 26, 2014


I don't know anything about Hellblazer, so I had no preconceptions going in to this, but the overall impression I got was "cheesy" and "low budget" and "theatrical, in a bad way" and "Dr. Whoish, in a bad way".

Things that stuck out to me:
The angel's terrible wings and goofy contact lenses
The scrying scene with computer graphics imported from a 90's FMV game
The scene where they do a (bad) time stop effect for no good reason and then they're so proud of it that they make Constantine compliment it right there on camera
The girl being dragged to hell by a world of warcraft character
The possessed power line-- there is no way to not make a possessed rope/wire look cheesy
Taxi guy gets impaled by said possessed power line but is brought back to life mere minutes later
Constantine's mystery shack that's decorated with LARPing props
posted by Pyry at 6:50 PM on October 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I kinda love that Jeremy Davies has decided his new life path in acting is Crazy Skinny Unhinged Weirdo.


I wanna see him in something with Taryn Manning.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:32 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


That it was "the Platonic Ideal of a Taxi" instead of an individual taxi for an individual driver is exactly why I thought it looked like a ridiculous toy. That's one of the things in the pilot where I think they were going for "stylized" or "iconic" but ended up with "cheesy cartoon."

Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I can see your point.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:14 PM on October 27, 2014


I loved Hellblazer back in the day (and I mean when I was gleefully laughing about Constantine foiling the stock market of souls somewhere in the first dozen issues). On the one hand, the show was calling out "ahead cheese factor ten!" without much subtlety, and changing the setting isn't so great, and yeah, if I were making it, it would be a period piece from the 80s. On the other hand, this is the Sleepy Hollow trend meets the DC mythos--the part where the magic lives--and it was pretty fun.

It'll never be "real" Hellblazer, but it doesn't have to be. As long as it continues to be fun, I'm along for the ride.
posted by immlass at 7:25 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


My main problem so far is that I keep thinking we must be in a flashback -- the main woman, at least, seems firmly in the early eighties, and no one else really seems to sway that much for me. (The fact that I watch a show where they're currently playing with some characters in 1994 is probably not helping.) Every time I convince myself the show is now I get sucked back into thinking it's 1983.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:58 PM on October 27, 2014


I'm not sure I could stomach a "real" Hellblazer. I read it for about 10 years and it just got too bleak for me. Now I'm a lot older, and my skin is thinner yet.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:38 PM on October 27, 2014


I have absolutely no attachment to the comics, aside from having read a dozen or so, and I thought it was OK. It's cheesey for sure, but I think there's potential, and it has the benefit of not being grim-dark.
posted by codacorolla at 12:47 PM on October 28, 2014


This was not very good. See Sleepy Hollow for how to do this sort of thing better.
posted by Artw at 3:23 PM on October 28, 2014


Bollocks
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:45 AM on November 1, 2014


TARDIS cabin in the woods.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:26 AM on November 26, 2014


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